A perfect summer side dish comprised of golden sauteed zucchini and toasty homemade croutons.

zucchini with basil, pine nuts and croutons
If my life right now were a Friends episode, it would be called “The One with the Bugs”.

And we’re not even talking flesh-eating fruit flies right now, people, or anything that can be easily fixed by setting out a bowl of vinegar and soap and subsequently watching and waiting.


Unless, of course, you know something I don’t and such a trick can actually be used to fix broken Instagram accounts, yeast-infested tissue culture plates, and accordingly demoralized and browbeaten hearts.

I mean, really. IsΒ nothing sacred?!

So I’ve been spending my days scouring the internet for new and inventive ways to contact instagram since their bug report page essentially says “maybe we’ll get back to you, maybe we won’t (suckers)” and the instagram help twitter account hasn’t been updated since 2012.

(Useful. Not.)

(Maybe it’s just me, but I’m kind-of of the opinion that if you run a social media network…you should be on social media. Just saying.)

And, in my spare time, trying to devise new ways to kill the amphotericin-resistant yeast that seem to have made it their life’s purpose to ruin all of my experiments.


Breath of fresh air – definitely needed.

Preferably in zucchini basil pine nut crispy crunchy crouton form.

Because while this summer panzanella won’t necessarily change anything…it’s just damn good. And sometimes, that’s good enough.


One year ago…Roasted Potatoes, Zucchini and Corn Tostadas with Romesco Sauce

Three years ago…Moroccan Nectarine and Plum Chicken Tagine

Four years ago…Melon Madness Pasta with Bacon and Feta

Zucchini with Basil, Pine Nuts and Croutons
A perfect summer side dish comprised of golden sauteed zucchini and toasty homemade croutons.
Yield: 6 servings
  • 2 lb zucchini and summer squash mix, cut on a bias into 1-inch slices
  • 4 tbsp olive oil, separated
  • ½ tsp sea salt, plus more to taste
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • juice of half a lemon
  • ¼ cup basil chiffonade
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 1 small loaf of bread, torn into croutons (I used a spelt bread from Whole Foods)
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  1. Heat oven to 350. Spread pine nuts on a parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer and toast until evenly golden, about 7 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Put 2 tbsp olive oil in a large heavy pan and heat over medium. When the oil starts to shimmer, add the zucchini in a single layer, cooking it in two batches if necessary. Season with salt and pepper and then let cook without touching for 3-5 minutes. Flip and cook for 3-5 minutes more, until browned on both sides. Repeat with remaining zucchini, if necessary.
  3. Toss cooked zucchini slices with the basil and lemon juice in a large bowl. Add any of the oil remaining in the pan.
  4. Add the remaining oil to the same pan over medium heat and, when it shimmers, add the croutons. Season with salt and pepper and leave undisturbed for 3 minutes. Flip and cook for another 3 minutes. When croutons are golden and toasty, add into the salad. Toss with cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Adapted from Not Derby Pie
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ⅙th of recipe


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60 Responses to Zucchini with Basil, Pine Nuts and Croutons

  1. OMG what happened to your Instagram?!?! Ugh!

    By the way, I could eat the entire dish of this.

  2. I want this more than I can possibly describe. Also, hurry up instagram!!…there, I helped.

  3. Emma says:

    What a pain about the instagram. I’ve just started using it but it’s mighty addictive!
    I spied this side dish on your last post and was hoping you’d share. I love bread salads and I have courgette coming out of my ears right now!

  4. Chewthefat says:

    Sometimes I find myself crying, lying on the floor…”why can’t the SMALL things in life be easy?”

  5. If I could eat vegetables and bread for every meal, I would. This dish combines some of my favs!

  6. Tracey says:

    That’s so annoying about your Instagram account – I hope you can get some resolution soon! Zucchini and summer squash are two of my favorites this time of year and I haven’t used them nearly enough. Can’t wait to make this!

  7. Despite the fact that this is a pain, the issues with Instagram have allowed for some incredibly fun Friends comparison. I am all for that (but also hope they fix it soon so you can then call this episode “The One Where Instagram Pulled Through” or something). And also, need this. It looks so summery and absolutely delish!

  8. Faith says:

    I’ve been having a rough week too…let’s hang in there together! Need this meal in my life and I happen to have a fridge full of zucchini! Meant to be. πŸ™‚

  9. Oh boy , I hope they fix it soon! Even though I don’t have one yet, its just another social thing to keep us more busy. Next year another gadget will pop up….Bluhhh
    BTW, You dish looks delicious, I can eat the entire bowl.

  10. Oh wow – this looks incredibly scrumptious!

  11. Monica says:

    Love those big rustic chunks of croutons! This really is a great summer dish.

  12. Victoria says:

    This is such a lovely summer dish. Panzanella for people who hate tomatoes, haha. Sorry about your issues with Instagram. That really blows πŸ™

  13. I am just waking up to your wonderful post and must confess that at 8:00 in the morning, I want some of this! Is that so terribly wrong? I love the fresh look of your ingredients and can only imagine at this point how wonderful it all tastes, together. Great post, Joanne. And, screw those nasty bugs – keep doing what you’re doing because you are great at it!!

  14. What a lovely summer dish! Totally love those croutons.
    Hope instagram fix the bug…SOON!

  15. SallyBR says:

    Not sure this will be of ANY help, but at some point of my distant past, a persistent problem of yeast contamination in a tissue culture room was due to a horribly dirty screen on an air conditioning unit. But, this was ages ago, back when air conditioning units had screens that could be removed and cleaned. Anyway, I decided to mention just in case, I know how frustrating these things can be. See if there could be something blowing nasty air into your room – I know the hoods are supposed to prevent inflow of air, but no one is perfect πŸ˜‰

  16. SallyBR says:

    Oh, well – forgot all about the recipe. Love it! Croutons with zucchini, who could tell?

    I had a zucchini post scheduled to go on Friday, but I bumped it to next week because I made something AMAZING that I need to talk about. And, guess what? I think you will love that one. Just to tease you: Jerusalem. Ottolenghi. Hope you can pop by the Bewitching to see it… πŸ˜‰

  17. @700words says:

    oh no joanne so sorry to hear of your various bug infestations. Hope you get sorted and the experiments are salvagable. this looks delicious.

  18. Jenna says:

    I pinned this to hopefully make in our next meal plan. Looks delicious. Thank you!

  19. I will eat my veggies in this form (with bread and cheese) without hesitation πŸ™‚

  20. oh man, does this look good! Sorry for all the troubles you’ve been having, but I find the best way to pick your spirits up is to dive into a bowl of homemade croutons– yum!

  21. Johanna GGG says:

    sorry to hear about your instagram issue – that just feeds my suspicions of social media and the web – when something goes wrong it is so frustrating because it is so hard to find a person to talk to and god forbid that anyone would take responsibility. But I hope they know that you are very important and need to be helped! And if you do find someone who might help them, just feel them this salad – it looks good enough to change someone’s mind and bring attention on yourself.

    As for the bacteria at work, I hope they don’t destroy your experiments and if they do I hope you get a paper out of it (we need more papers about what goes wrong as well as brilliant break throughs)

  22. sandra says:

    so sorry for your bug woes. I was thinking of making something with zucchini and basil tonight! Bought a nice big batch of it (basil) at the Green Market this morning. Now I can smell it all day sitting on my desk. Yum!

  23. Jessie says:

    Oh man, sorry to hear about your bug problems, Joanne πŸ™ I hope you find out what is happening to your experiments before too long – that really sucks. How you find time to make delicious dishes like this one, I have no idea. Superwoman, I suppose. I’ll cross my fingers that ALL of your buggy issues are resolved soon!

  24. Natalie says:

    Such a unique dish, I like the crunch added to it from the nuts and croutons! Tasty!!

  25. cassie says:

    This looks amazing, Joanne. I love the pine nuts!

  26. Boo on instagram. Hooray for this lovely zucchini dish. Yum!

  27. Such a yummy meal, Joanne! I love the summery, earthy flavors in this. Delish!

  28. What a yummy summer recipe! I love croutons πŸ™‚

  29. I love, love, LOVE panzanella bread salad. I have never tried it with zucchini but it looks like a wonderful way of adding veggies to an otherwise carb loaded ‘salad’. Looks wonderful.

  30. Megan says:

    This panzanella sounds so amazing. I love all the flavors in here. Yay for zucchini recipes! Good luck with Instagram.

  31. Kate says:

    I’d say that bugs are the bane of summer, but it sounds like yours aren’t weather dependent.

  32. Kathleen says:

    I do believe that placing the words “yeast-infected tissue culture plates” in the same post as “zucchini basil pine nut crispy crunchy crouton” is reckless behavior! To quote my favorite blogger, “I mean,really. Is nothing sacred?” That being said, this recipe is now on the menu for this weekend. it looks and sounds scrumptious!

    Sorry about the lab problems, though. My daughter is having a similar contamination problem. Hope you get it fixed!

  33. This dish looks great, but I feel like with everything you have been dealing with you might need something stronger. Like chocolate cake. Did you try contacting Facebook re: your Instagram? They may not have a strong customer service/social media presence now that FB owns them (and might take care of it for them).

  34. Shannon says:

    those croutons look killer! as does the summer squash, but i’ve been lying low on carbs so now good-looking ones seem extra delicious πŸ™‚ sorry to hear about the yeast… hope you figure out where it’s coming from and how to rid the lab of it forever!

  35. Eileen says:

    Ugh, fighting with broken tech is the worst! I hope you get things cleared up soon. This zucchini looks great–definitely a perfect way to eat the whole overblown summer squash harvest!

  36. Instagram is pain in the butt but so addictive. Love this recipe!

  37. Joanne I had a problem connected with IG and FB pages a while back and like you was unable to get in touch with anyone, EVER at IG. I finally resolved it after much trial and error – what a major PITA!

  38. Pam says:

    Ugh – sorry about the IG problems.

    I love the addition of the croutons to this side dish… they kick it up a notch!

  39. Suzie says:

    I hear about Instagram all the time but I don’t use it. Not even really sure what it is…lol! This dish though I know would be delicious!

  40. debbie says:

    A great summer dish and looks so good too!!!!

  41. Wow, love it! Like a zucchini panzanella! Yummmmmm! Soooo delish and healthy! Bring on the veggies!

  42. Christina says:

    Yum πŸ™‚ always looking for more ways to use my zucchini.

  43. Christine says:

    How annoying all around, bugs, yeast and instagram! I’m having trouble with WordPress today. Just wrote a post, went to preview it and got “Not Found, doesn’t exist” yet I’m looking right at the draft. Why can’t things just work? I found this link for you for instagram, http://help.instagram.com/
    Hope it helps. Your dish looks so good!

  44. kirsten says:

    Love the new look! I’ve been out of it, so sorry if I’m late to notice. Gorgeous recipes as usual!

  45. Damn all those bugs straight to you know where! Moving on… this zucchini is talking to me. And it’s love.

  46. A few years ago I had problems with my facebook account, so I vowed never to use social media sites again. It seems to always screw up, and solving it is a bitch. I feel your pain.
    But this would make me forget all my troubles too, this looks great!

  47. You constantly amaze me with the depth of flavor and vibrancy that you produce with your veggie dishes!

  48. I adore zucchini and am always looking for new ways to use them. This is such a fantastic idea. Thanks Joanne!

  49. Amy says:

    Ugh, instagram was down? It’s the one social media platform that I haven’t utilized…I can’t keep up. Isn’t it amazing how these technical difficulties control us and makes us weep like little babies? I swear I’m going to start drinking. The cookies just aren’t cutting it this week.

  50. Damn those crazy Instagram hispters! Stop taking photos of your mustaches and give this lady some help! Hope all works out for you xo Any may that yeast be killed immediately!

  51. Julie says:

    I am always looking for new recipes for zucchini! Just so happens I also have fresh basil in the garden. I just read your bio, I did not know you met “the boy” on line. That’s how I met my husband πŸ™‚

  52. Rhonda says:

    I find bugs for a living all day, software ones, not squishy live ones πŸ™‚ The pine nuts in your dish definitely make it sound even more delicious, I love those expensive little guys.

  53. Such a delicious meal! I am loving the fresh zucchini right now, so this is calling my name. YUMM!

  54. Mmm homemade croutons. Yes please!

  55. Reeni says:

    A beautiful salad featuring the love of my life right now! Hearty chunks of zucchini and homemade croutons? Yes, please. And save me seconds.

  56. that BREAD! gorgeous! this is a side dish i can get behind!

  57. Nutmeg Nanny says:

    Zucchini is a summer staple in my house πŸ™‚ this is topped with all of my favorite flavors! perfection

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